A complete South Indian breakfast – Idli sambhar and chutney. As a kid I always preferred dosas to idlis and story has changed over the years when I got to taste the real magical power of this combination. I am sure that this is one favorite breakfast combos to many out there and here is my take on its preparation. The sambar recipe given here is passed to me by Asha aunty and it has become a favorite to us in no time. It is very different in its preparation and the real secret of its taste is that magical “SAMBHAR POWDER” . Enjoy!!!
For soft idlis
Idli rice 3 cups
Urad dal 1 cup
Cooked rice ½ cup (I always use parboiled rice), alternately you can use aval or poha
Fenugreek seeds ¼ tsp
Salt as needed
Wash and soak idli rice + fenugreek seeds and urad dal separately for at least 8 hours.
Grind the soaked idli rice along with cooked rice in 2-3 batches to a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl and do the same with urad dal and mix with the rice batter. Combine both the batter well and keep covered in a warm place to ferment for at least 16 hours. The batter should have a thick consistency.
When you are ready to make idli, add required salt and pour spoonful of the batter to greased idli moulds and steam cook for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the moulds and let it sit for 2 minutes before unmoulding. Enjoy hot soft idlis with coconut chutney or sambhar. Refrigerate leftover batter and this will be good for making idlis for 2 days. After that the idlis may not be soft as the fermentation activity decreases due to refrigeration.
Sambhar (Serves 5)
Toor dal 1 cup
Onion 2 medium, cut to big chunks
Green chilly 1, cut to chunks
Asafetida a pinch
Wash and soak the toor dal along with onions, green chilly and asafetida in enough water to cook the dal for at least 30 minutes. After that cook the toor dal to 2 whistles and allow the pressure to release by itself.
Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
Red chilly powder 1 tsp
Potato 1 no, peeled and cubed
Carrot 1 big, cubed
Ivy gourd/Kovakka 2 –3 cut to cubes
Eggplant/ Vazhuthananga 1 no, cubed
*You can add any kind of vegetables to your choice at this stage.
Open the lid and add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilly powder. Mix well and add potato, carrot, ivy gourd and eggplant. Cook this to 1 whistle and allow the pressure to release by itself.
Drumsticks 4-5, halved
Tomato 1 no, cut to quarters
Okra/Vendakka 1 cup, cut to ½ inch pieces
Tamarind a lemon size, soaked in 1 cup water
Coriander powder 3 Heaping TBSP
Sambhar powder 1 TBSP (recipe follows)
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Dry red chilly 4 nos
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves a handful
Open lid and give a mix, add drumsticks, coriander leaves, tamarind juice and bring this to a boil. Then add vendakka (okra), salt and allow this to come to a boil. Now add the tomatoes and 1 cup water along with red chilly powder, coriander powder, sambar powder. Mix well and allow to boil. Switch off flame and temper with mustard seeds, dry red chilly and curry leaves.
Recipe for Special Sambhar powder
Fenugreek seeds 1 cup
Mustard seeds 1 cup
Asafetida 1 TBSP
Curry leaves a handful
Dry roast fenugreek seeds with asafetida and curry leaves and allow to cool. Dry roast mustard seeds separately and set aside to cool. Once completely cooled, powder the above ingredients to a fine powder and store in an air tight container.
Coconut chutney (Serves 5)
Grated coconut 1 cup
Shallots 2 nos, chopped
Roasted chana dal 2 tsp
Green chilly 2-3 nos
Ginger 1 tsp, chopped
Mustard seeds ½ tsp
Dry red chilly 2 nos
Salt as needed
Oil 1 tsp
Grind together, coconut, shallots, chana dal, green chilly, ginger and salt to a smooth paste adding little water at a time. Transfer this to a bowl and add water to make the consistency you need, I always add ½ to ¾ cup water. Adjust salt. Now in a pan add oil and splutter mustard seeds along with dry red chilly. Add curry leaves and switch off flame and immediately add the chutney. MIX WELL and enjoy with idli.